Standard Four: Educational Programs
The institution offers collegiate-level programs in recognized fields of study that culminate in identified student competencies leading to degrees and certificates. The provisions of this standard are broadly applicable to all educational activities offered in the name of the institution, regardless of where or how presented, or by whom taught.
Committee for Standard Four
Elena Cole, English Faculty (Chair)
Sarah Nielsen, English as a Second Language Faculty (Co-Chair)
Kevin Ankoviac, Physics/Astronomy Faculty
Carolyn Barranouskas, Drafting Technology Faculty
Dale Boercker, Mathematics Faculty
Art Deleray, Chemistry Faculty
Richard Dry, English Faculty
Jackie Fitzgerald, Early Childhood Development Faculty
Judy Hanson, Academic Services Specialist
Teresa Henson, Mathematics Faculty
Denise Van Horn Landre, Articulation Officer
Carmen McCauley, Administrative Assistant II
Barbara Morrissey, Psychology/Counseling Faculty
Maria Elena Pellinen, Humanities/Foreign Language Faculty
Peggy Riley, English Faculty
Birgitte Ryslinge, Acting Dean of Academic Services
Mary Straight, Assessment Testing/Tutorials Specialist
Thomas Trippe, Instructional Network Systems Specialist
Standard 4A: General Provisions
4A.1 The institution seeks to meet the varied educational needs of its students through programs consistent with its instructional mission and purposes and the demographics and economics of its community.
Las Positas College (LPC) identifies the educational needs of its students in many ways. Over a period of five years, the College engages in an Academic Services program review as well as a Student Services program review every three years. In addition, the LPC Director of Research and Planning produces a Student Characteristics Report (4.1) annually, studying students' demographic composition, and the College examines enrollment trends and degree and transfer requirements to monitor students' educational needs. Also, students from the Associated Students of Las Positas College (ASLPC) sit on the campus-wide committees such as the Curriculum Committee, the Institutional Planning Committee (IPC), and the Academic Senate. As part of an on-going effort to meet the needs of its community, LPC has approximately 20 occupational and vocational Advisory Boards comprised of representatives from local industry or businesses and faculty from LPC, secondary schools and Regional Occupational Programs (ROP). In fact, LPC has developed many occupational and vocational programs, such as Laser Technology and Vacuum Technology, in response to community needs. The College also has representatives on the Tri-Valley Business Council (4.2) and the Tri-Valley Educational Collaborative (4.3) (a group comprised of business and community partners, ROP, feeder high schools, CSU, and LPC). LPC has an oversight relationship with the Tri-Valley One Stop Career Center and is working on setting up joint regional internships with a variety of businesses in the Tri-Valley area, under the Tri-Valley Connections Internship Program (4.4). Furthermore, in an effort to better serve the community, LPC hired professional researchers to conduct a survey, calling 600 homes in the Tri-Valley area. All of these efforts have helped LPC change in response the evolving needs of its community.
The Tri-Valley area has developed dramatically since 1995, and, therefore, LPC has grown substantially as well. Between the years of 1995 and 2000, the number of students attending LPC increased by 30.8 percent. (4.5) The College had a 130 percent increase in the number of non-transferable course enrollments and a 20.1 percent increase in the number of courses that are UC and CSU transferable. LPC has also seen a 43 percent increase in enrollments in basic skills classes. (4.6) The demographics of the LPC community have changed as well: for example, the Asian population at LPC increased by 125.2 percent, the Middle Eastern population by 251 percent, and Hispanic population by 59.1 percent. (4.5) As a result, LPC curriculum has evolved to meet a wide range of student educational needs. In 1995-96, LPC awarded 190 degrees and 41 certificates, but in 1999-00 the College awarded 405 degrees and 124 certificates. (4.7) LPC plans to meet the evolving needs of its diverse student population through the Strategic Planning Team, a subcommittee of the IPC that began work in 1999. The Team reviews College practices and processes, arriving at a more consistent vision that supports the LPC effort to meet its students' career, academic, personal growth, and lifelong learning needs.
Many programs and services support students with unique or non-traditional needs; programs and services include the International Students Program, the Learning Skills Program, Extended Opportunities Programs and Services (EOPS), Disabled Student Programs and Services (DSPS), the Program for Adult College Education (PACE), the Expanding Education for Mature Adults program (Quest), and the 2+2 Program (a course/program articulation between secondary/ROP and the College). Many new programs and services are being offered since the 1996 Accreditation Report. In the past two years, in collaboration with Los Medanos College and through the funding of Title III, LPC has developed new programs to support at-risk and transfer students. These include the Multicultural Achievement Program (MAP), the Honors Transfer Program, and a variety of short, quarter-unit workshops offered by the math and English departments as a response to a faculty survey about needed support classes. The LPC CalWORKS program has doubled in size since its inception in 1998. Also, LPC has implemented LaPTechS, a student-run computer business where students earn units for their work. (4.8)
In addition to offering an array of programs and services, LPC creates a class schedule (4.9) that accommodates a wide variety of students, including those who attend full-time and part-time, day, night, and weekend, with career and familial responsibilities. A majority of classes required for a degree are offered in the late afternoon and at night as well as during the day, Monday through Friday. On Saturdays LPC offers a limited number of degree classes, and classes in specialized programs such as the Cisco Networking Academy. LPC plans to expand its weekend offerings by 2002-03 so that students will be able to complete an Associate of Arts or Science degree taking weekend classes. LPC recently moved to a block schedule, giving students the option to complete a degree while attending classes only two days during the week. Summer classes are offered in three sessions of varying lengths: five weeks, six weeks, and eight weeks. LPC offers late-start classes, fast-track classes, and an ever-growing number of distance education and online classes. (4.9)
Consistent with its mission and purposes, and the demographics and economics of its community, LPC seeks to identify and meet the diverse educational needs of its community. In the student Accreditation Survey, a majority of student respondents report being satisfied with the "overall academic excellence of the College," "the College commitment to student success," the "overall quality of instruction in general education courses," and the "overall quality of instruction in classes related to major." The surveyed students also feel that they are being well-prepared for "transfer to a four-year college" and "for obtaining employment in [their] field of study." (4.10)
The LPC survey of its community two years ago was helpful. However given the growth of the Tri-Valley Area, the College should regularly survey the needs of the community it serves.
- Conduct regular assessments of community needs.
4A.2 Programs and courses leading to degrees are offered in a manner that provides students the opportunity to complete the program as announced within a reasonable time.
LPC has a strong commitment to planning and offering programs and courses leading to degrees so that students may complete the program requirements as announced within a reasonable time. The scheduling of required program or degree and transfer courses is carefully executed and monitored at the department, division, and campus levels throughout the Class Schedule (4.9) development process.
Any evidence of students' changing needs gets special attention. The scheduler, the Division Deans, and the Vice President of Academic Services study courses that fill and close early during registration periods. Additional sections are added as necessary, sometimes as early as the following semester, if possible and consistent with budgetary limitations. Occasionally, when need is great, Division Deans work with discipline coordinators to provide additional sections in the same semester as late-start classes.
Division Deans may choose, having consulted with the Vice President of Academic Services, to allow low-enrollment courses if students need the class to fulfill the requirements of their program, degree, or transfer goals. Similarly, Division Deans may allow a low-enrollment class to continue in order to stimulate the growth of a new program. Cancelled classes are reviewed to determine if they may be offered at a different time to ensure their continued availability in the future.
In addition to these efforts, all courses, including prerequisites and corequisites, are described in the LPC Catalog and Class Schedule. The LPC Catalog specifies certificate and degree requirements, along with relevant recommended sequences, transfer information, or certificate requirements. To facilitate student planning and transfer, LPC is adding CAN numbers (California Articulation Number) to courses in the Catalog. The College certifies general education requirements through the Intersegmental General Education Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). The LPC Catalog is reviewed annually, and a new catalog is published every two years. An addendum is provided in intervening years.
LPC is sometimes unable to offer as many courses as needed due to facility limitations and instructor shortages. To maximize available space, the College is successfully offering more classes in the early afternoon, between 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Steps are being taken to minimize faculty shortages and lack of availability through such efforts as advertising, working with other colleges, and attending work fairs.
A majority of the staff at LPC, answering Accreditation Survey questions, feel that "the LPC schedule accurately reflects the courses that appear in the catalog within a two-year cycle," and that "the College offers appropriate general education courses to meet student needs." In the student Accreditation Survey, the majority of respondents express satisfaction with the "variety of courses offered," the "availability of courses offered," and their ability "to get the courses [they] need on the days or hours that are good for" them. (4.10)
More and more courses are being offered in a distance education or online format for maximum student access. This helps relieve enrollment pressure due to limited space. However, a definitive, comprehensive plan for the future of the LPC online program is necessary.
- Devise and implement a long-term plan for the online program.
4A.3 When programs are eliminated or program requirements are significantly changed, the institution makes appropriate arrangements so that enrolled students may complete their education in a timely manner with a minimum of disruption.
According to past practices, when program changes occur, the responsible administrator makes an informed decision based on research and notifies enrolled students and relevant campus constituencies. The administrator meets individually with the affected students to ensure that they are able to complete the program to their satisfaction.
Program changes are taken to the appropriate department and division meetings and then to the Curriculum Committee for approval. All program changes are shared with faculty and staff in related program areas. (4.12)
Administrators follow the practice described, sharing a common understanding of how to change or eliminate programs so that enrolled students may complete their education in a timely manner with a minimum of disruption; however, this process has not been well defined in writing.
- Define, in writing, the process for handling the elimination of programs or significant changes in program requirements.
4A.4 The institution provides sufficient human, financial, and physical (including technological) resources to support its educational programs and to facilitate achievement of the goals and objectives of those programs regardless of the service location or instructional delivery method.
LPC experienced a minimum growth between four percent and six percent in enrollment each year from 1995 to 2000. The student population has increased by over 30 percent since the last accreditation. The number of faculty has grown significantly, to 92 full-time faculty as of Fall 2001: an increase of 35.3 percent since the last accreditation. Full-time faculty account for 52.43 percent of the instructional hours while 47.57 percent of the total instructional hours are taught by adjunct faculty. See Standard Seven for more information about faculty, staff and student growth statistics for LPC.
Within the next few years, if growth money continues, the College will move closer to compliance with AB 1725 that mandates that 75 percent of the College instructional hours will be taught by full-time faculty.
LPC has 21 buildings located on 147.7 acres. Some of these are not permanent buildings and will eventually be replaced. In terms of facilities, the campus is about half the size that it will eventually become. The Science and Technology Center (Building 1800) was completed in 1997, and many science programs of study can now be completed at LPC. An Engineering Program is continuing to grow.
Since the last accreditation, some new or renovated buildings on campus are providing classroom or laboratory space for instruction:
- Building 300 contains a computer graphics center and houses the College newspaper (renovated).
- Building 500 has an art studio as well as the math complex with computers for self-paced learning (renovated).
- Building 1200 was the Student Center, but is now the Physical Education/ Health Facility that is greatly expanded from its previous location (renovated).
- The Student Center is located in a new building (1700) with considerably more space and will soon have a food service center (new).
- LPC staffs a Health Center for students open daily, and Monday through Thursday evenings. It is located in a corner wing of the Student Center with its own entrance (new).
- Building 1300 has been remodeled to house 16 offices for faculty and staff (renovated).
The international student population has grown from 12 students in the Spring of 1996 to 93 students in the Fall of 2001. They are now served by Student Services and Admissions and Records in a designated office in building 1500 (renovated).
one double-sized office is available for adjunct faculty to share.
It contains three computers and one printer. But, this office has
locked storage units on two walls, and the printer serves the full
time faculty, as well. To meet the need for additional buildings,
the College is exploring the option of proposing a bond measure,
most probably in conjunction with Chabot College.
The College has a strategic plan for technology. (4.13) The plan was designed by the College Technology Committee and combined with a plan developed by the Strategic Planning Team, with input from the entire faculty and staff and Campus Works (consulting firm).
Title III funds enabled interested faculty to learn how to create web pages for themselves or their departments, and learn how to use technology aids like Power Point, Adobe Page Mill, and Adobe PhotoShop. Training occurred over a three-year period, with a different group of instructors each year. LPC continues to provide instructor training in technology that supports classroom instruction and develops online courses.
The College expects continued growth and change in a rapidly changing and growing community. Currently, the College assesses the need for faculty and staff through recommendations from individual divisions and departments using data provided by the Director of Research and Planning. However, having additional methods of assessing staffing needs across the campus would help achieve a more holistic perspective, especially as it pertains to classified support staff.
Limited financial resources constrain the College from growing as quickly as it could in an area of rapid population growth. Physical resources in a number of areas on campus are minimally adequate today, and there is no room for the growth that will happen tomorrow. The student population will continue to grow, and at this point classrooms are full during morning, late afternoon, and evening hours. There is no more office space for anyone anywhere on the campus. Adjunct faculty do not have adequate office space to meet students or to do class-related work. Because of the shortage of maintenance staff, routine custodial and maintenance work is not always handled as quickly as it should be.
Although many changes have occurred since the last accreditation, the growth of the region and the student population places a real strain on the availability of classroom space during certain hours of the day and especially at night. Additional space is needed for classrooms and some programs are in need of appropriate space for their class offerings. Among these programs are the:
- Physical Education Program needs a gymnasium as well as an athletic field;
- Performing Arts Program needs a larger and better equipped theater and storage to showcase its performances;
- Early Childhood Education Program needs a practicum/laboratory setting for ECD students. A child development center would also provide childcare services for the children of LPC students, faculty, and staff. LPC is one of only a handful (fewer than 7) of community colleges in California that does not have a childcare center on the campus for its students;
- Phase II of the Science and Technology Center needs to be built to provide more classrooms to serve the numbers of students demanding science and technology courses.
International students are better served as of the Fall of 2001 in a special office where they can receive more personalized attention.
LPC is a relatively small and relatively new college, but it committed several years ago to ensure that the classrooms be technologically enhanced and kept up to date so that instructors could use technology to assist them with in-class instruction. The College succeeded in having classrooms that are technologically well equipped. Thirty instructors have been trained with Title III funds in creating web pages for their classes or for their departments. Nearly all classrooms are equipped with technology, but many instructors still need training in the use of available technologies. LPC should continue providing technological support for faculty and staff.
- Develop additional methods of assessing classified staffing needs across the campus, including the need for additional classified staff that directly support instructional programs.
- Re-examine the use of classroom space and devise strategies to optimize the use of the existing classrooms.
- Educate the community about the needs of the College and the benefits that building expansion will provide.
4A.5 The institution designs and maintains academic advising programs to meet student needs for information and advice and adequately informs and prepares faculty and other personnel responsible for the advising function.
All students are informed of and are encouraged to take advantage of available student services.
The Counseling division primarily assists students in planning and executing a program of study that appropriately reflects individual interests, potential, and motivation. Services are provided to assist students in the areas of academic, career and personal counseling. Counselors conduct an all-day orientation program for new students during the week before Fall semester. Additional orientation sessions are held in the evenings as well as during the first few weeks of each semester.
Services are available for students with disabilities who experience a challenge to successful completion of their educational goals. Assistance and accommodations are provided to all eligible students. The program was serving 291 students as of August 2001.
First generation college students who are challenged by language, academic preparation, and economic disadvantages receive services from the Extended Opportunity Programs and Services (EOPS). EOPS staff work with students to determine which programs best facilitate successful completion of their educational goals and objectives in as timely a manner as possible.
Cooperative Agencies, Resources for Education (CARE) focuses on the particular challenges of single-parenting students who are matriculating in higher education with a full-time course load. CARE is an adjunct program of EOPS and requires students to make academic progress in a timely manner in order to maintain program status.
The Counseling Division, through its program review, has identified some areas needing improvement, such as the program for assisting students experiencing academic difficulties. Additionally, information about available educational alternatives, such as technical career preparation and transfer opportunities, needs to be more available. (4.14)
- Design a program of assistance for probationary students.
- Make information about educational alternatives more available to students through the Counseling Division.
Standard 4B: Degree and Certificate Programs
4B.1 The institution demonstrates that its degrees and programs, whenever and however offered, support the mission of the institution. Degree and certificate programs have a coherent design and are characterized by appropriate length, breadth, depth, sequencing of courses, synthesis of learning, and use of information and learning resources.
The scope of degree and certificate programs offered by LPC aligns with the institutional mission and interpreted purpose. The College provides a varied and dynamic spectrum of educational services from basic skills to English as a Second Language (ESL); comprehensive educational programs leading to a degree or occupational certificate, transfer to institutions of higher learning, or to employment training and opportunity. LPC encourages access for all students through counseling and student services such as CALWORKS, EOPS, and DSPS.
Degrees and programs reflect the LPC collaboration with secondary schools, local industry and community members, and four-year colleges and universities. All courses are reviewed and approved by each academic division, then presented to Curriculum Committee (a subcommittee of Academic Senate) before final approval by the Board of Trustees. (4.15) Vocational degree programs receive input from Advisory Boards, prior to division review. An extensive course outline is prepared in accordance with Title V guidelines, including an evaluation of expected outcomes, necessary prerequisites, co-requisites, and advisories to ensure student preparation, technology requirements, and learning resource integration. The LPC Catalog lists and describes all courses and programs, prerequisites, co-requisites, and advisories, as well as the requirements necessary to obtain a degree. The LPC Catalog also contains the appropriate recommended sequencing of program courses. (4.11)
Certificate, degree, and transfer programs include appropriate length, breadth, depth, and sequencing of courses. The College offers 34 Certificate of Achievement programs leading to competence in a variety of occupational areas. (4.16) A Certificate of Achievement requires a minimum of 20 semester units for the major with a grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 or higher. Eight Certificates of Completion that require a minimum of 10 semester units for the major with a GPA of 2.0 or higher have recently been developed in specialized study areas. The length of each program, as well as its breadth, depth, and individual course sequence is determined by a program Advisory Board composed of secondary, ROP, College faculty, administrators, students, local employers in hiring capacities, and working adults in related industries. A complete listing of advisory boards, members, and representation is available in the LPC catalog. (4.17) The content and number of courses required in each program reflect input from the advisory board members and necessary training for entry-level performance in related occupational fields.
Students who complete a Certificate of Achievement may also typically earn an AA or AS degree by adding a required general education component to their studies. Requirements for each degree appear under General Education Requirements. (4.18) There are 20 AA and 19 AS occupational and transfer degree programs available at LPC. An Associate degree may be completed under the requirements specified in the LPC Catalog, or in conjunction with the General Education Breadth Requirements for the California State University, or as part of Intersegmental General Education Breadth Requirements for the California State University Transfer Curriculum (IGETC). These documents are revised annually and are found on flyers in the Counseling office and Career/Transfer Center.
LPC provides the first two years (lower division) of a four-year college or university program. Transfer programs enable students to transition to four-year institutions in a timely manner without loss of credit. AA/AS degree transfer programs are listed in the LPC Catalog and supplemented by flyers. Students planning to transfer consult with a counselor early and regularly to assure a cohesive program of general education and lower division major courses to fulfill transfer requirements of specific four-year institutions. The College maintains extensive articulation agreements with the University of California, the California State University System, and independent colleges and universities. These agreements identify the courses required to satisfy general education and lower division major preparation requirements and are readily available to students in the Career/Transfer and Counseling offices.
An ad hoc committee explored distance learning policies and made recommendations to implement an online AA degree by Spring 2002.
The design, breadth, and extent of the degree and certificate programs that LPC offers are consistent with its mission and meet the standards described in its articulation agreements with other institutions and those required by the State of California. Courses within each program are grouped into several broad areas designed to cultivate intellect and imagination and to broaden awareness of the relationship and interdependence of ideas and disciplines.
The State Chancellor's Office of Institutional Research and Planning has been tracking community college transfer rates with first-time freshman enrolled in Fall 1996. Results of the three-year study are published in a brief entitled Expanded Student Right To Know. (4.19) The March 2001 issue reported that of the students surveyed, 25 percent of those entering LPC in that semester were completing transfer programs and transferring to four-year schools three years later. LPC appears to be exceeding expected performance in this area.
Fewer than 10 percent of students indicate that unnecessary course prerequisites, unnecessary courses required for major or too many courses required for a major, degree or certificate (99%, 8%, 7%, respectively) constitute a significant barrier to achieving their educational goals at LPC. (4.10)
The development of over 60 online distance education classes offers evidence that LPC recognizes busy student lifestyles, need for alternative degree-delivery mediums, and varied student learning styles. Current offerings are listed on CLASS-Web, found on the LPC website through a very visible and accessible link. The Weekend College concept is being investigated to further expand scheduling options for students.
Current and accurate transfer requirement flyers have recently been developed.
4B.2 The institution identifies its degrees and certificates in ways which are consistent with the program content, degree objectives, and student mastery of knowledge and skills including, where appropriate, career preparations and competencies.
The LPC Catalog (4.11), Catalog Addendum (4.22), Class Schedule (4.9), and online publications clearly state program content, degree objectives, and expected outcomes. LPC awards Associate degrees, Certificates of Achievement and Certificates of Completion in a number of academic, career and vocational areas. Many instructors, especially in vocational and transfer areas, also generate auxiliary flyers and flowcharts to further identify recommended course sequence and scheduling.
Each degree and certificate program is initiated by discipline faculty who identify required courses and verify their compatibility through collaboration with transfer institutions, and in the case of career and vocational certificates, through Advisory Boards or licensing agencies. Degree requirements and certificate programs are reviewed by the appropriate division, and then approved for submittal to the Curriculum Committee. Through program review every five years, discipline faculty further ensure that courses fulfill degree and certificate requirements and adequately prepare students with skills and knowledge. The Curriculum Committee is continually reviewing AA and AS degree requirements. Career and vocational certificates are revised regularly in response to Advisory Board recommendations, licensing requirements, or changes in technology.
One Dean has the responsibility of overseeing the scheduling of all Advisory Boards, assuring that all boards meet at least twice a year to review curriculum and recommend changes to maintain program currency.
Maintaining confidence that the AA and AS degree and certificates are consistent with program content, degree objectives, and student mastery of expected skills and knowledge requires constant surveillance by faculty, staff, with community and industry interface. The strength of the LPC Curriculum Committee methodology is more than adequate in this regard.
When students are asked about the value of information provided by the LPC Catalog (4.11) and Class Schedule (4.9) in the Accreditation Survey (4.10), 28 percent strongly agree with their value, 64 percent admit satisfaction with these sources, and 9 percent feel varying levels of dissatisfaction with the value of these publications.
The program review process is an opportunity for faculty to critically and objectively review degree and certificate requirements and to reevaluate their relationship to the degree and certificate award. At LPC, program review has become a dominant force in justifying facility upgrades, curriculum revisions in response to changing technology, and advisory board composition. The program review process has been dynamic, evolving recently to include required student input. There is no assurance, however, that needed changes in curriculum or degree and certificates are completed as a result of program review.
- Institute practices within the institutional program review process to ensure that needed, identified changes to the College curriculum, degree, or certificates are appropriately completed in a timely manner.
4B.3 The institution identifies and makes public expected learning outcomes for its degree and certificate programs. Students completing programs demonstrate achievement of those stated learning outcomes.
The LPC Catalog (4.11) is available in print and online versions. Minimum qualifications for eligibility to graduate with the AA and the AS are specified, as are the minimum certificate requirements for graduation. Academic and scholastic standards are delineated in the Academic Regulations section of the Catalog. (4.21) As stated there, it is the policy of the LPC Academic Senate that "all academic courses be taught at a post-secondary level, particularly those courses for which LPC has articulation agreements with four-year institutions." (4.21) The Academic Standards Policy of LPC (4.22) explains the minimum standards students must meet to continue in good standing. Additionally, it defines criteria for removal through academic or progress probation, as well as for re-instatement after dismissal.
College grades are defined (4.23), as is the procedure for calculating GPA (4.23). The LPC Catalog makes clear that a minimum GPA of 2.0 is required both to qualify for graduation with an AA or AS degree or with a certificate. In addition, a student graduating with a degree must complete a minimum of 60 semester units, 12 of which must be taken while in residence at LPC. To be eligible for graduation with a certificate, a student is required to "complete at least eighty percent (80%) of the required program at LPC, including the last three units." (4.24)
Students completing programs must satisfy the minimum requirements of the program. Achievement of this goal is reached by meeting the requirements of the individual courses comprising the programs. Course descriptions in the LPC Catalog and the Class Schedule summarize the scope and content of each course.
In accordance with the standards established by Title V and the Curriculum Committee, updated course outlines define learning outcomes for each course and identify basic expectations for student grades. These outlines are on file with the Office of Academic Services, and may be found online through the website under Academic Programs and Services link. (4.25)
In addition, "Students are expected to take midterm and final examinations in each course for which they are enrolled." (4.21) Grades are assigned in accordance with expectations stated in the course outline and the individual student's demonstrated level of achievement. All LPC faculty are expected to provide a course syllabus during the first day of class. (4.26) The syllabus must outline the general course content and student responsibilities; additionally, it must include instructor information and dates and types of assignments. Instructors are encouraged to include their grading system in the course syllabus.
Results of the Accreditation Survey (4.10) indicate that faculty, staff, administrators and students find the Class Schedule (4.9) and LPC Catalog (4.11) easy to understand and use. Of those polled, 24 percent of staff and 28 percent of students strongly agree, while 66 percent of staff and 65 percent of students agree with the ease-of-use statement. There is general agreement with the survey statement "Students completing programs demonstrate achievement of stated learning outcomes," with 11 percent of the staff polled strongly agreeing and 84 percent agreeing. The majority of students polled in the survey respond favorably to the statement "Course syllabi are provided and followed by instructors" with 29 percent strongly agreeing and 62 percent agreeing.
effectively defined and made public the expected learning outcomes
for its degree and certificate programs. Minimum grade standards
for all programs and degrees, combined with academic standards appropriate
to the institution, ensure that students have demonstrated achievement
of expected learning outcomes.
4B.4. All degree programs are designed to provide students a significant introduction to the broad areas of knowledge, their theories and methods of inquiry, and focused study in at least one area of inquiry or established interdisciplinary core.
AA and AS degree programs incorporate general education requirements that are "designed to cultivate intellect and imagination and to broaden awareness of the relationship and interdependence of ideas and disciplines." (4.18) In addition, a student planning to graduate with an AA or AS degree must complete all requirements for a major including a minimum of 18 semester units plus electives. (4.24) Students transferring without a degree may complete the general education breadth requirements for CSU or IGETC curriculum.
Students planning to complete an AA or AS transfer program may develop an individual transfer major, in collaboration with a counselor. Similarly, students planning to complete an AA or AS occupational program may develop an individual occupational major in consultation with a counselor.
The degree programs at LPC combine breadth, through their general education requirements, with depth, through a focused area of study in a selected major.
Results of the Accreditation Survey (4.10) indicate general satisfaction with the general education program. In response to the statement "The College offers appropriate general education courses to meet student need," 29 percent of staff polled strongly agree, while 70 percent agree. Survey results indicate that 17 percent of staff polled strongly agree and 76 percent agree with the statement "the general education programs provide the opportunity for students to develop the skills, social attitudes, and appreciation of cultural diversity that will make them effective learners and citizens." (4.10) In Part One of the student survey, assessing student gains in skills and knowledge, most students indicate that they are stronger in a variety of skills and knowledge areas than prior to entering LPC. These numbers indicate that students feel they benefit from general education courses at LPC.
4B.5 Students completing degree programs demonstrate competence in the use of language and computation.
Catalog specifies language and computation requirements for the AA
and AS degrees.
In English Composition, the completion of six semester units may be met in one of three ways. In mathematics, the requirement for minimum proficiency may be met in one of three ways as specified in the LPC Catalog. (4.18)
Furthermore, Title V indicates that in Associate degree applicable courses and in nondegree-applicable credit courses, student grades should be established, at least in part, "by means of essays," or where appropriate, "by problem solving exercises or skills." (4.27) LPC complies with Title V.
Students who complete the language and computation courses required for the AA and AS degrees at LPC demonstrate competence in these skill areas. An internal measure of this success is the testing and evaluation that takes place within the course. Another measure of opinion is the Accreditation Survey. (4.10) In answer to the statement, "students completing degree programs demonstrate competence in the use of language and computation," the overall response is positive, with 93 percent agreeing or strongly agreeing. In response to the statement "math basic skills courses meet the needs of the overall student population," 90 percent agree or strongly agree. Also, LPC, in complying with Title V, ensures that students demonstrate competence in language skills.
An external measure of the LPC student competence in language skill post-transfer comes from CSU, Hayward. According to Dr. Carl Bellone, Vice President of Enrollment Services at CSU, Hayward, in the 2001-02 academic year, students from LPC who took the CSUH Writing Skills Test had "the highest pass rate (79%) of any other group including . . . Cal State Hayward native students." He noted that "LPC students had a pass rate of 79 percent versus 59 percent overall and 64 percent for students who spent their entire time as CSUH students." (4.28)
4B.6 The institution documents the technical and professional competence of students completing its vocational and occupational programs.
LPC offers 42 professional and vocational programs ranging from Administration of Justice to Welding Technology, including several that may be unique in the country. (4.24) Laser Technology, Science Technology and Vacuum Technology are offered in response to the requirements of Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory (LLNL) and other high technology companies in the area.
According to the November 2000 Partnership For Excellence Report prepared for the governing board, 5,152 enrollments were successfully completed in 1997-98 and 5,893 in 1998-99. Eleven apprenticeships were completed at LPC in 1997-98 and 31 in 1998-99. In 1997-98, 1,250 advanced vocational enrollments were completed and 1,082 in 1998-99.
The College documents students' technical and professional competence by recording the number who complete certificate programs. Students receiving a career or vocational certificate program maintain an overall "C" or better average. Student competencies are also documented through articulation agreements, such as the current agreement in effect with the Alameda County Sheriff's Academy. In addition, many programs include extensive skills testing within courses that demonstrate the levels of competency students achieve. The College regularly reports to its business and industry Advisory Boards (4.17) that continually assess the programs for currency of curriculum, job placements, and other criteria.
Industry certification and licensing processes provide documentation as well. As they complete required coursework and field experience, students in vocational programs such as Emergency Medical Technician are eligible for certification or for licensing examinations. Examination results are an additional means of documenting student competency. The accreditation of career and vocational programs by external agencies also testifies to program effectiveness. The College and its instructional programs are approved by the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges and by the State Department of Education for training veterans.
Other ways the College indirectly monitors and documents students' skill levels are through scholarships, job placement feedback, and hiring queries from community employers.
Program faculty, formally and informally, document the competence of students completing College technical and vocational training. The reports of external agencies and public bodies document this as well. LPC occupational and vocational Advisory Boards (4.17) meet bi-annually, ensuring that curriculum reflects current industry standards and providing guidance and a variety of resources, including equipment, scholarships and employer networking. Taking into account advice from the boards, faculty implement program and curriculum changes, to ensure that students have the latest technical knowledge and vocational skills necessary for the job market.
Although it is difficult to garner a formal assessment from employers regarding how LPC graduates do when they enter the workforce, the program review process includes practitioners in the field who assist in evaluating the programs. Major changes in curriculum, facilities and resources have been made as a result of these recommendations. Because many hourly faculty in occupational programs work full time in their field, they are able to keep abreast of changes in their career fields and bring their recommendations to the Advisory Boards for action.
Results of the staff Accreditation Survey indicate that 65 percent agree and 21 percent strongly agree that technical vocational courses meet the needs of students interested in occupational job training. While 67 percent agree or strongly agree that the employment needs of our community are being met through our occupational educational programs, a significant 33 percent of the staff disagreed with the statement. Of students surveyed, 80 percent express satisfaction with their preparation for obtaining employment in their field of study. (4.10) The College should continue to explore all avenues to stay current with employment needs in its service area.
Standard 4C: General Education
4C.1 The institution requires of all degree programs a component of general education that is published in clear and complete terms in its general catalog.
A program of general education is an integral, required component of the AA and the AS degrees offered by LPC. Specific requirements for general education for the AA and AS are published in the LPC Catalog. The catalog describes each requirement as well as the number of total units required for each. Courses that satisfy the requirements are listed. (4.18)
A component of general education is required for College AA and AS degrees. The requirements and the courses that satisfy them are published in the catalog in clear and complete terms. However, some exceptions to this clarity of terms exist. For instance, a rationale for differences between the AA and AS general education requirements is not explained.
The Physical Education (PE) requirement described in the Academic Regulations section of the catalog was inconsistent with the text of the AA and AS general education requirements in the 2000-02 Catalog. This has been corrected in the 2002-04 catalog.
- Include a rationale for differences in the AA and AS general education requirements.
4C.2 The general education component is based on philosophy and rationale that are clearly stated. Criteria are provided by which the appropriateness of each course in the general education component is determined.
The LPC general education component is based on the philosophy of the College Mission Statement. (4.30) The rationale is contained in the Statement of the Objectives of the General Education Program. (4.31) The Las Positas College Master Plan Update for Educational Programs and Facilities Development 1996-2010 (Master Plan) (4.32), Part V, Educational Programs, relates area-specific philosophies and goals to educational courses and programs. A General Education Philosophy is also stated in the College Faculty Handbook (4.26), but is not included in either the Adjunct Faculty Handbook (4.33) or the Curriculum Proposal Handbook. (4.34)
The goals of the College general education component include affording all students a program of study to mature the mind, enrich family and social relationships, activate the imagination, and develop skills and aptitudes to aid students in achieving their goals. To achieve these objectives, the College offers general education courses that meet criteria established in the Master Plan, (4.32) by the Curriculum Committee, and by transfer institutions. General education, transfer, AA and AS degree requirements are summarized on single-page fliers (4.35) available in Admissions and Records, Counseling, the Career/Transfer Center and from individual counselors and instructors.
The Strategic Planning Team, a subcommittee of the College Institutional Planning Committee (IPC), has developed a strategic plan that includes a review of the LPC mission, philosophy, and objectives statements, and affirms their relationship to educational programs. The Strategic Plan (4.36)contains statements of Comprehensive Goals, Guiding Principles of Excellence, and Values.
The Accreditation Survey (4.10) shows a positive response from faculty, administrators and classified staff, who agree that the College offers appropriate general education courses to meet student needs and that students completing the general education program demonstrate competence in communication, reasoning, and critical thinking skills. The survey also shows 97 percent of students are satisfied with the overall quality of instruction in general education courses and 86 percent are satisfied with their preparation for transfer.
The College should continue to review its Mission Statement (4.30) regularly to ensure that it accurately reflects the LPC general education philosophy and is consistent with the guiding statements developed by the Strategic Planning Team.
- Include the General Education Philosophy statement in both the Adjunct Faculty Handbook (4.33) and in the Curriculum Proposal Handbook.
4C.3 The general education program introduces the content and methodology of the major areas of knowledge: the humanities and fine arts, the natural sciences, and the social sciences. The general education program provides the opportunity for students to develop the intellectual skills, information, technology facility, affective and creative capabilities, social attitudes, and an appreciation for cultural diversity that will make them effective learners and citizens.
The LPC general education program for the AA degree, the AS degree and transfer AA degree is defined in the LPC Catalog. (4.18) General education requirements for each of these degrees include course work in the major areas of knowledge identified in Standard 4C.3. These include the humanities, fine arts, natural sciences and social sciences. More specifically, the LPC Catalog identifies the general education requirements for each degree offered.
Each option summarized above allows students to choose from a variety of general education courses that provide opportunities to acquire the knowledge and skills listed in Standard 4C.3.
education courses are intended to facilitate students' development
of intellectual and technological skills, affective and creative
capabilities, and social and cultural attitudes that will make students
effective learners and citizens.
When surveyed about general education programs and opportunities afforded to students, LPC staff respond favorably. Ninety-nine percent of staff surveyed agree or strongly agree that general education courses are appropriate and meet student needs. In addition, 83 percent of staff surveyed agree or strongly agree that the general education programs provide opportunities for students to develop the skills, social attitudes, appreciation of cultural diversity that will make them effective learners and citizens. Ninety-four percent of staff surveyed agree or strongly agree that students completing the general education program demonstrate competence in communication, reasoning and critical thinking skills. (4.10)
Like LPC staff, LPC students respond favorably to questions about College general education programs. More specifically, 94 percent of students surveyed agree or strongly agree that the overall quality of instruction in general education courses is good. (4.10)
The overall impression of LPC general education programs that emerges from the survey data is solid. However, because of the reliance on literacy and computer skills in today's society, the College should encourage and support all faculty teaching general education courses to include ample opportunities for students to further develop reading, writing and computer skills.
4C.4 Students completing the institution's general program demonstrate competence in oral and written communication, scientific and quantitative reasoning, and critical analysis/logical thinking.
All students completing the LPC general program must have fulfilled the requirements specified in the LPC Catalog. (4.18) Furthermore, Title V regulations require that the Curriculum Committee ensure that course work in Associate degree applicable courses is college level and that it incorporates critical thinking. Course work in non degree-applicable credit courses must also provide instruction in critical thinking though the "level of difficulty does not have to be at the college level." (4.27)
The College assessment tests to determine math and English competency ensure that students are placed at an appropriate class level.
The College provides opportunities through course work for students to gain competency in written and oral communication, critical thinking, science and mathematics. In complying with Title V, LPC ensures its students demonstrate competence in these areas.
Students and faculty alike respond favorably when surveyed about the LPC role in helping students gain competency in written and oral communication, critical thinking, science and mathematics. Ninety-three percent of staff surveyed agree or strongly agree that students completing degree programs demonstrate competence in the use of language and computation. Ninety-four percent of staff surveyed agree or strongly agree that student completing the general education program demonstrate competence in communication, reasoning, and critical thinking skills. (4.10) Sixty-seven percent of students surveyed feel their writing skills are stronger or much stronger now compared to when they first entered LPC. Sixty-five percent of students surveyed feel their oral communication skills are stronger or much stronger now. Sixty-five percent of students surveyed felt their critical thinking and problem solving skills are stronger or much stronger now. Fifty-two percent of students surveyed feel their math skills are stronger or much stronger now compared to when they first entered LPC. (4.10)
Standard D: Curriculum and Instruction
4D.1The institution has clearly defined processes for establishing and evaluating all of its educational programs. These processes recognize the central role of faculty in developing, implementing, and evaluating the educational programs. Program evaluations are integrated into overall institutional evaluation and planning are conducted in a regular basis.
As described in the Faculty Handbook, educational programs at LPC are "developed cooperatively by instructional faculty, counselors, and academic administrators, as well as appropriate advisory committees." (4.26) These patterns of study are approved by the following bodies in the following order: the originating discipline, the division, the Vice President of Academic Services, the Curriculum Committee, the College President, and the Board of Trustees. If a certificate program is 18 units or greater, it is forwarded to the State Chancellor's Office for approval.
Course development must follow the same procedure, except in stand-alone courses (4.34), but does not generally need to be sent to the state. Contemporary Studies courses that are numbered 49 in Letters and Sciences, and 99 in Special Studies are approved by the division, and paperwork needs approval by a Division Dean and the Vice President of Academic Services. Colloquia, numbered 9, are approved by the Division Dean and Vice President of Academic Services.
The Faculty Handbook (4.26) contains submission forms for course development and they are available in division offices. A flow chart and a calendar of deadlines for the process come from the Curriculum Committee and are distributed to faculty in division meetings early in the Fall semester.
Most voting members of the Curriculum Committee are faculty members, emphasizing the central role of faculty in program and curriculum development. Curriculum Committee members are elected from their divisions. Each division is represented according to its size. In addition, up to two students appointed by the ASLPC are voting members.
LPC conducts program review for each educational program at five-year intervals. One fourth of the programs are reviewed each year with the fifth year devoted to accreditation. The program review is divided into four stages: self-study, validation, response by Vice President of Academic Services, and report to the IPC. Each of these stages, as well as a schedule of deadlines, is detailed in the Instructional Program Review Adopted Model. (4.37) The final step in the review process integrates findings into annual College goals and priorities for institutional planning, including curriculum resources, personnel, and faculty.
According to the staff Accreditation Survey 30 percent disagree and six percent strongly disagree that "the processes for implementation and revision of curriculum are clearly understood by faculty and function as intended." (4.10) According to faculty members and faculty senators, the current processes for establishing programs and curricula need clarification in the Faculty Handbook and in Faculty Guide to Writing and Rewriting Course Outlines. (4.38) Faculty would like a more helpful flowchart, and better dissemination of information. In addition, forms need streamlining and revision for clarity. The Academic Senate is reviewing state mandates regarding review of curricula by divisions.
Faculty members have also complained that there is no established procedure to enforce suggestions made within the program review process. A procedure should be put into place to implement suggestions made by program review.
A newly formed subcommittee of the Curriculum Committee has addressed better information dissemination to the faculty and has created forms that invite innovation, while maintaining high academic standards. Workshops, orientations, and rewrites for forms are under consideration, and the new forms are being used in 2002-03. (4.34)
The Academic Senate should follow up its investigation of state mandates regarding review of curricula by divisions, so that divisions can make changes adhering to these guidelines.
4D.2 The institution ensures the quality of instruction, academic rigor, and educational effectiveness of all of its courses and programs regardless of service location or instructional delivery method.
To ensure a uniformly high quality of instruction and academic rigor, curriculum and program review committees composed of faculty and administrators regularly review, evaluate, and modify courses and programs to guarantee educational effectiveness regardless of delivery method or service location. Advisory Boards also play a major role, particularly in career education programs, in recommending curriculum development and revision, delivery methodology, and academic quality to the divisions.
The Curriculum Committee is responsible for ensuring that Title V prerequisite requirements and College and District standards are followed, regardless of location or methods of instruction. Faculty follow the approved course outline that includes course content, objectives, recommended textbooks, methods of instruction, and evaluation procedures. Distance education courses must satisfy additional criteria designed to verify their equivalency with courses taught in a traditional format. (4.34)
Faculty initiate courses and programs at the discipline level. After approval by the division, discipline faculty, with support from their Division Deans, prepare proposals for the Curriculum Committee. The Curriculum Committee reviews and approves proposed new courses and programs, course and program revisions, and deletions of courses and programs. Members of the Curriculum Committee preview the agenda, course outlines, and program proposals prior to meetings to ensure that they reflect the standards set forth in the Curriculum Committee Handbook and supplementary packets. (4.39) The Committee follows the state approved Model District Policy (4.40) for establishing prerequisites, co-requisites, and advisories on preparation.
Instructional program review addresses the educational effectiveness of courses and programs on a five-year cycle that is described in Standard 4D.1. The process is based on current qualitative and quantitative data that are used to assess strengths and weaknesses in achieving program purposes and projected outcomes.
All instructors are evaluated according to the collective bargaining agreements with Chabot-Las Positas Faculty Association. (4.41) These processes evaluate the delivery of instruction by all faculty and include student as well as peer and administrative evaluation.
The College maintains consistent academic standards for all its courses and programs. LPC is working on a process wherein faculty will ensure the quality of online and distance education courses. LPC has provided special training for new online faculty, including stipend incentives for faculty who complete an online course curriculum. In addition, LPC staffs the Professional Development Center (PDC) with a full-time Instructional Technology/Learning Coordinator to provide support for faculty developing online courses.
The Academic Senate and the Curriculum Committee are also exploring ways to ensure that all course outlines are updated and written in Title V format.
- Ensure that all course outlines are updated and written in Title V format.
4D.3 The evaluation of student learning and the award of credit are based upon clearly stated and published criteria. Credit awarded is consistent with student learning and is based upon generally accepted norms or equivalencies.
Evaluation of student learning is based upon approved course outlines that specify student performance outcomes and stipulate methods faculty use to evaluate students in respective courses.
The LPC Catalog defines grades and grade points, as well as College academic standards. It also explains the LPC policy of awarding credit to veterans for education and training received in the armed forces, (4.42) for alternative methods of study, and for credit by examination. (4.43) The LPC Catalog (4.11) and the Class Schedule (4.9) identify degree-applicable and non-degree applicable courses that meet Title V regulations in terms of prerequisites and corequisites, levels of rigor, assignments, and other required categorical characteristics.
members are urged to provide students with a syllabus in each course,
with definitive explanation of instructor policies and grading criteria.
Recent College-wide figures suggest that grades assigned are high. In Fall 1999, 47 percent off all grades received at LPC were A's and B's with 11 percent C's and 13 percent Credit. Grades of D, F, and No-Credit accounted for three percent, five percent and two percent, respectively. The remaining 18 percent were W (withdrawals). (4.44) Although consistent with a 30-year national trend of grade inflation, College-wide review on the issue of grade inflation is necessary. Areas of potential concern need to be identified.
The Teachers Teaching Teachers program discussed this problem in 2000-01, and initial responses were mixed. Many sections of the same course are taught by both full-time and adjunct faculty. Department-wide agreement on performance expectations and grade calibrations may be needed in some instructional programs. Grading standards vary among instructors, even among those teaching the same course.
- Institute practices promoting regular review of grade distribution campus-wide and by instructional department to facilitate discussion of common grading standards and philosophies. Devise and implement additional strategies to improve department faculty use of common grading standards.
4D.4 The institution has clearly stated transfer of credit policies. In accepting transfer credits to fulfill degree requirements, the institutions certifies that the credits accepted, including those for general education, achieve educational objectives comparable to its own courses. Where patterns of transfer between institutions are established, efforts are undertaken to formulate articulation agreements.
LPC allows the transfer of lower-division course work credit from accredited two-and four-year institutions. These policies are outlined in the LPC Catalog. (4.45) The policies are included with discussions of admission procedures, admission with advanced standing, transcripts from other colleges, advanced placement program, and veterans and credit for military training.
The Admissions and Records office receives transfer transcripts and then scans them into the Student Records Data Base for use by Student Services staff. Completion of any applicable prerequisites or corequisites is generally determined by counselors.
In accepting transfer credits to fulfill LPC degree requirements, the content of transfer courses must be equivalent to current LPC course standards. In this process, LPC determines that the credits accepted, including those for general education and major requirements, achieve compatible educational objectives.
For evaluation and certification of requirements for CSU general education and IGETC, the College follows the common and acceptable practice of pass-along credit. This practice of pass-along is defined and recommended by UC and CSU. (4.46) Transfer of other coursework is determined by the evaluators with input from counselors and faculty.
Transfer patterns between LPC and primary receiving institutions have been established, and the College places primary effort in the development of articulation agreements with those colleges and universities. Articulation data with four-year colleges is maintained on the Articulation System Stimulating Interinstitutional Student Transfer (Project ASSIST), a computerized statewide articulation database. Some of the information contained on ASSIST is useful in the evaluation of course work transferred from a four-year university toward a LPC degree or certificate. ASSIST data helps determine how other California Community College (CCC) course work will transfer to fulfill CSU general education requirements, IGETC and major requirements.
Because CCC-to-CCC articulation agreements do not exist on Project ASSIST, data found there are less helpful for identifying transfer credit for entering students transferring from other CCCs to LPC. Evaluation of CCC course work is done primarily by the LPC evaluators and counselors. In each instance when articulation is not found on ASSIST, evaluators and counselors use a course-to-course comparison with college catalogs and online resources.
This year, the State Chancellor identified the Course Articulation Number (CAN) System as the common course numbering system. All CCCs have been directed to conduct training and expand the number of qualified CAN courses. In addition, the CCC and UC have signed a memorandum of understanding that targets specific articulation and transfer goals. As a result of this agreement, the UCs are required to articulate the top 20 majors with every CCC.
Two years ago, LPC funded a half-time evaluator for the express purpose of evaluating incoming student transcripts. The evaluator gives feedback to students, within the first semester of attending LPC, about course requirements necessary to obtain a degree and transfer.
Presently, the College employs one Articulation Officer who does not have regular clerical support.
ASSIST is the primary source of obtaining articulation information; however, it does not provide a place for additional specific important transfer and articulation information and does not post articulation with private institutions. The Articulation Officer has developed and maintains all other articulation information on a College articulation web page, accessible through the College website. (4.47) This is a convenient and useful tool for counselors.
The Articulation Officer should have regular clerical support. Time spent on data entry could be devoted to developing and maintaining articulation agreements as well as other valuable articulation and transfer information.
Within the District, Chabot and LPC maintain courses with common numbers, but are beginning to develop courses with different content. Some faculty, counselors and both Colleges' articulation officers have expressed concern over the confusion that may be created for students who are simultaneously enrolled. The two Colleges have discussed the need to develop a formal articulation agreement in order to facilitate student transfer within the CLPCCD.
- Develop a formal articulation agreement between LPC and Chabot.
4D.5 The institution utilizes a range of delivery systems and modes of instruction compatible with the objectives of the curriculum and appropriate to the needs of its students.
LPC utilizes a range of delivery systems and modes of instruction compatible with the objectives of the curriculum and appropriate to the needs of students. These include traditional lecture-style classes, laboratory courses, lecture-lab combinations, online courses, telecourses, classroom multimedia presentations, computer-aided instruction, independent study, and self-paced programs. Classrooms are furnished with white- or chalkboards, overhead projectors, televisions and videotape players. The Instructional Systems (ITS) department maintains a web page with specific support goals to provide "traditional Audio/Visual support, technology based multimedia demonstration systems and live multi-point videoconferencing service to the students, faculty and staff of LPC. We are very proud of the fact that 83% of the classrooms at LPC are equipped with modern multimedia instructional systems. Our goal is to be at 100% by 2002!" (4.48) Classrooms in the computer center, math building, library and computer labs are equipped with Internet connections.
LPC sponsors a number of courses and programs designed for students with special interests or non-traditional needs. Many courses are offered in distance education format, and the LPC PACE program for working adults offers a complete AA degree program consisting of courses that meet one night a week and alternate Saturdays. Many students are take high school and college classes concurrently. The College Honors program provides highly motivated students with enhanced learning experiences. The DSPS offers counseling, interpreters, specialized equipment, note taking assistance, tutoring, test proctoring, and courses for students with disabilities. In addition to these services, students with disabilities have access to computer support services, special audio and magnification equipment, and Braille and textbook recording to assist their learning styles and adaptive needs. LPC is in the middle of a five year Title III grant that allows the College to offer short-term basic skills workshops in English and math to assist students in successful completion of transferable coursework.
LPC employs a wide range of delivery systems and instructional modes to meet the curriculum objectives and student needs. Computers and other technology are widely available and used in instruction, and non-traditional courses and programs are in place to address student needs. Recent efforts to provide new scheduling opportunities for students and offer more courses online further demonstrate College efforts to increase teaching and learning opportunities for faculty and students.
The Accreditation Survey (4.10) indicates that 94 percent of College staff believe that the needs of students are being met by appropriate utilization of delivery methods and technology. Seventy-seven percent of the LPC students responding to the Accreditation Survey agree that a sufficient variety of courses were offered, and 70 percent agree that the courses offered were readily available.
4D.6 The institution provides evidence that all courses and programs - both credit and non-credit - whether conducted on or off campus by traditional or non-traditional delivery systems, are designed, approved, administered, and periodically evaluated under established institutional procedures. This provision applies to continuing and community education, contract and other special programs conducted in the name of the institution.
Contract Education is a CLPCCD program designed and administered by the District; therefore, it does not fall within the scope of this Accreditation Self Study.
Community Education is a self-supporting program administered through the LPC Office of Community Education. Community Education designs courses based on requests from LPC faculty, potential community-based instructors and interested community members. Potential instructors submit a Course Proposal Outline (4.49) that requires the applicant's resume and references. A committee, consisting of the Vice President of Student Services, the Community Education Coordinator, and the Community Education Staff Assistant, chooses courses and instructors. In certain cases, this committee consults with qualified faculty members on campus to assure that a course meets acceptable content and safety standards.
The Community Education program was, for many years, a small endeavor, offering a few computer courses and serving very few members of the community. A decision was made to build this program, and in Spring 1998, a catalog (4.50) was mailed to every address in the LPC service area and is distributed to specific public institutions such as libraries. Class offerings continue to increase, and in Spring 2002, 88 courses and dozens of online courses were offered. Community Education is now serving over 1,000 community members each semester.
On or before the first day of class, a staff member meets with the instructor and provides administrative materials (4.51) that include a class roster, student evaluation forms, and a memo regarding Community Education procedures and campus emergency information. Each course is evaluated by the students at its conclusion. The evaluation forms are reviewed by the Community Education Staff Assistant, who may meet with an instructor if appropriate. A summary of the evaluations is kept on record, and evaluations are returned to the instructor for use in preparing future classes.
The Office of Community Education is always striving to reach new students. The Staff Assistant is creating a database of the people served by the program, with an overall goal of improving student numbers through targeted marketing. There is a continual search for new and interesting classes for the public, and new and interesting venues for community educators.
4D.7 Institutions offering curricula through electronic delivery system operate in conformity with applicable Commission policies and statements on "Principles of Good Practice in Distance Education."
The Distance Education program at LPC is growing rapidly. During school year 2000-01, 29 web-based and telecourses, covering 95 sections, were offered in the Distance Education program. During 2000-01 a new AA Online Degree Pilot Program was designed, developed and implemented. For summer 2001 and school year 2001-02, 70 web-based and telecourses covered about 100 sections. As of Spring 2002, all the general education requirements for the AA degree were available online. (4.9)
The Online Degree Pilot Program has been implemented and six faculty selected to design new courses. Faculty members are given stipend or release time, and instructional design and technological support. LPC has an Instructional Technology/Learning Coordinator for the LPC Distance Education program who ensures that all developed courses have the same rigorous standards as LPC traditional courses. The Instructional Technologist, in conjunction with the Webmaster and two part-time technical support staff, offer training and ongoing support for faculty designing and teaching web-based courses. Faculty attend weekly workshops on WebCt and online pedagogy. The "Best Practices for Electronically Offered Degree and Certificate Programs" (4.52) are stressed throughout the discussion of course design and pedagogy. The LPC Distance Education Program has also implemented an LPC Distance Education Support Desk through the Tutorials Center.
All online LPC courses must be approved by the Curriculum Committee in compliance with the distance education curriculum review and approval process outlined in Title V. All courses developed for online instruction conform to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges' policies and statements on "Best Practices." (4.52)
Courses offered via electronic systems, or online through the internet meet the same or higher standards as campus-based courses, regarding their selection, preparation, delivery, and instructor time in contact with students. Fifty-three percent of the students surveyed say they would like and/or prefer web-enabled/internet courses. The college has responded effectively to the need for online courses to meet student needs through faculty training and incentives to adopt this new instructional mode. However, as this program continues to grow, additional support for faculty, staff and students needs to continue. For example, part-time technical support for this is currently grant-funded, and so may end.
4D.8 Institutions offering curricula in foreign locations to students other then U.S. nationals operate in conformity with applicable Commission policies and guidelines.
LPC does not currently offer courses or programs in foreign locations to foreign students.
|4.1||Index B-1 / Flow Chart|
|4.2||Faculty Guide to Writing and Rewriting Course Outlines*|
|4.3||Instructional Program Review Adopted Model / Revised 9-99*|
|4.4||Las Positas College 2001 Class Schedule|
|4.5||Las Positas College Accreditation Survey, Spring 2001*|
|4.6||Las Positas College Catalog*|
|4.7||Las Positas College Spring Schedule 2002*|
|4.8||Las Positas Faculty Handbook|
Positas Fast Facts, Fall 1995/Fall 2000 -
(Office of Institutional Research and Planning LPC, November 2001)
|4.10||Student Characteristics and Outcomes, November 2000|
|4.11||Student Services Program Review, Executive Summary*|
|4.12||The "Principles of Good Practice in Distance Education"*|
|4.13||Technology Strategic Plan|
|4.14||Student Services Program Review|
|4.15||Board of Trustees - Membership|
|4.16||Las Positas College Catalog, Occupational Areas, page 58|
|4.17||Las Positas College Catalog, Advisory Boards|
|4.18||Las Positas College Catalog, GE Requirements, pages 48-49|
|4.19||Expanded Student Right to Know, State Chancellor's Office, March 2001|
|4.20||Las Positas College Catalog Addendum|
|4.21||Las Positas College Catalog, Academic Regulations, pages 32-38|
|4.22||Las Positas College Catalog, Academic Standards, page 32|
|4.23||Las Positas College Catalog, College Grades, pages 33-34|
|4.24||Las Positas College Catalog Graduation Requirements, pages 46-47|
|4.25||Academic Services Website Link|
|4.26||Las Positas College Faculty Handbook|
|4.28||Letter from Dr. Carl Bellone, California State University System|
|4.30||Las Positas College Catalog, Mission Statement, page 8|
|4.31||Statement of the Objective of the General Education Program|
|4.32||Las Positas College Master Plan Update for Educational Programs and Facilities Development, 1996-2010|
|4.33||Las Positas College Adjunct Faculty Handbook|
|4.34||Curriculum Proposal Handbook|
|4.35||Single Page Fliers of General Education, Transfer, AA and AS Degree Requirements|
|4.36||Las Positas College Strategic Plan|
|4.37||Instructional Program Review Adopted Model, September 1999|
|4.38||Faculty Guide to Writing and Re-Writing Course Outlines|
|4.39||Curriculum Committee Handbook and Supplementary Packets|
|4.40||Model District Policy in Pre-requisites, Co-requisites, and Advisories|
|4.41||Las Positas College Faculty contract, Collective Bargaining|
|4.42||Las Positas College Catalog, Veterans Educational Benefits, page 23|
|4.43||Las Positas College Catalog, Credit by Examination, page 36|
|4.44||Las Positas College Grade Distribution, Fall 1999|
|4.45||Las Positas College Catalog, Admission, Matriculation and Registration, page 14|
|4.46||"Pass-Along Credit" Policy, University of California and California State University|
|4.47||Las Positas College Articulation Web Page (http://www.lpc1.clpccd.cc.ca.us/lpc/vanhorn/articulation/)|
|4.48||Las Positas College Instructional Systems Web Page (http://www.laspositascollege.cc.ca.us/academics/isd.htm)|
|4.49||Community Education Course Proposal Outline|
|4.50||Community Education Catalog/Schedule|
|4.51||Community Education Administrative Memo|
|4.52||Best Practices for Electronically Offered Degree and Certificate Programs (http://www.accjc.org/best_practicesforelectronically_.htm)|